“Keep smiling and being you. Don’t let the world change you”
Hello Me, it’s You is a collection of letters by young adults aged 17-24 about their experiences with mental health issues. The letters are written to their 16-year-old selves, giving beautifully honest advice, insight and encouragement for all that lays ahead of them.
This book was produced by the Hello Me, it’s You charity, set up by the editor, Hannah. Hannah was diagnosed with depression and anxiety whilst at university and found comfort in talking to friends about their experiences, realising she was not alone in her situation. This inspired the idea for the charity and book. Through the creation of materials such as this, the charity aims to provide reassurance for young adults (and their families) who are experiencing mental health issues and give a voice to young adults on such an important topic. The result of that will hopefully be a reduction in the negative stigma surrounding mental health and an increase in awareness of young people’s experiences. All profits go the Hello Me, it’s You charity, for the production of future supportive books.
Trigger warning: Due to its nature, the content of this book may be triggering. Contains personal experiences of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, trichotillomania and other mental health issues, as well as issues such as assault.
A big thank you to NetGalley for allowing me access to this book in exchange for an honest review.
It seems quite counterintuitive to call this book uplifting given the fact that I basically cried from the first to the last letter, practically a ceaseless stream of tears fell from my eyes whilst reading.
Butin all honesty, this book is brimming with hope which inadvertently actually rubs off on you.
It was definitely not an easy read in the slightest, some of the topics covered within just hit too close to home for comfort. It definitely showed the real difficulties caused by mental illness and the struggles that people go through in order to try to overcome it.
Albeit in saying that, it was also hugely inspirational. Seeing that people had overcome some problems, and even seeing that most of them were trying even though they may not have been quite there at the point of writing the letter felt monumental. I think everyone at some point during their lives had wanted to go back in time to tell their younger selves something about their future, and in these cases – it was encouraging to see that most people were going for the “keep going, it really does get better despite what you may think right now”.
I loved each of the voices, and despite minor mistakes in the writing here and there – I genuinely thought they added a certain degree of naked truth to the contents of the novel, made it feel much more raw and candid.
I honestly think that this book will stay with me forevermore, the illustrations, as well as the letters themselves, made this book unforgettable and I honestly think that it deserves all of the stars for what it is trying to do. And I can only hope that many more people will discover and read it, and that perhaps it can partake in fighting the stigma that still unfortunately surrounds mental health issues today; something that should have been stopped before it had even started but still weighs down upon everyone struggling in our society today – and will shine a light on the fact that it is alright to ask for help if you do think you need it.
I definitely think this is a read for everyone and anyone, struggling with mental disorders or not. It is simply beautiful, phenomenal and I know it will stay ingrained in your hearts and minds for a long long while after you’ve read it.
My Rating: All of the Stars/ 5